Soon in tunes: Band of Lovers, April 8 at Smoke and Barrel

April 7th, 2015 at 1:47 pm

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Blending guitar, ukulele and vocal harmonies, folk/pop duo Band of Lovers is touring in support of a February album, “The Coast.” That trek brings the upstate New York band to the Smoke & Barrel Tavern for a Wednesday night (April 8) show. The event starts at 10 p.m. Admission is free.

Soon in tunes: The Body, April 7 at The Lightbulb Club

April 6th, 2015 at 10:57 am

The Body

The Body

Sludge metal band The Body makes a stop at The Lightbulb Club in Fayetteville on Tuesday night (April 7). The two-piece outfit from Rhode Island has more than a decade’s worth of recordings under its belt, including the most recent, “You, Whom I Have Always Hated,” a collaboration with fellow sludge act Thou. Fort Smith punk rockers Not on Your Life join the bill. The show begins at 9 p.m., and admission is $5 for those 21 and older and $8 for those 18-20.

Announcing a pair of new music festivals

April 3rd, 2015 at 1:53 pm

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Dumpstaphunk performs “Do You Want My Love.” Do you want a pair of music festivals? Here you go…

Last week, we posted news of the return of the Highberry Festival, scheduled for the Fourth of July weekend at Byrd’s Adventure Center near Ozark.

Deadhead Productions, the group behind that event, wasn’t done.

They’ve announced a pair of other festivals, both of which take place at a venue called The Farm, which is located west of Eureka Springs.

The first of the two events is called Phunkberry Music Festival, and it takes place May 7-10. Featured acts include Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk, Kung Fu and The Bernie Worrell Orchestra.

The second festival is called Hillberry Music Festival. It runs Aug. 20-23 and features acts such as The Schwag, Rumpke Mountain Boys, Mountain Sprout and Tyrannosaurus Chicken.

Passes for each can be found through their respective websites.

The weekend in music, with Framing the Red and more

April 3rd, 2015 at 5:03 am

Framing the Red

Framing the Red

There are two sure signs of spring right now: Severe weather popping up at random times and also the fact that the beloved farmers’ market season is upon us. My colleague Allison Carter takes a looks at the markets in today’s What’s Up!, which is important in this context because there is always live music. The market in Fayetteville opens Saturday (April 4) morning. Go and you’ll find good tunes. I promise.

What else is happening this weekend?

Mississippi hard rockers Framing the Red bring their current tour to George’s Majestic Lounge for a Sunday night (April 5) show. The band has opened for acts such as Sevendust, 10 Years and Motley Crue in their three-year history. This weekend’s show with Wayland begins at 8 p.m. Admission is $5.

George’s is also the host of the infinitely rowdy Split Lip Rayfield, a punkgrass trio from Kansas. That show takes place Saturday, and Cutty Rye opens.

Elsewhere, the bands Qui and Bik Fliqqr perform together on Sunday at The Lightbulb Club in Fayetteville. I can’t say I’ve spent much time listening to either, but I’m impressed with the number of letter ‘Q’s in their names.

What’s on your music agenda for the weekend?

The shifting sounds of Nora Jane Struthers

April 1st, 2015 at 11:17 am

Nora Jane Struthers

Nora Jane Struthers

Nora Jane Struthers has said many times her latest album is some strange combination of bluegrass and Pearl Jam.

She’s known bluegrass for decades, having released a family band record. She’s coming around on the rock ‘n’ roll element, largely due to her backing band, The Party Line. The members there play rock music, and when her songs get filtered through, it adds a harder edge than her previous recordings.

Struthers, a former New York school teacher, gave up the classroom for concert halls such as the one she’ll play tonight — George’s Majestic Lounge. Her show at the Fayetteville venue begins at 8 p.m. Rebecca Loebe and Smokey & The Mirror will join the festivities.

Struthers chatted with me recently about her newest album, “Wake,” how she assembled her band and her idea of success. You can read my story on Struthers in What’s Up!

Admission to tonight’s show is $10.

Lineup announced for UA music festival

March 31st, 2015 at 12:25 pm

[Update at 4:49 p.m. March 31: Students can reserve tickets starting at 10 a.m. Wednesday (April 1) through Tickets for the general public go on sale at noon Wednesday through and will be $30 for a one-day pass or $50 for a two-day pass.]

Last semester, the University of Arkansas’ student-fee driven Headliner Concerts Committee did not produce a concert.

They promised to make up for it courtesy of a two-day music festival this spring.

The results of that effort were made clear a few moments ago.

Headlining the festival, which will take place April 17-18 in the parking lot just east of Baum Stadium, will be Mutemath on April 17 and Wiz Khalifa on April 18. Joining Mutemath will be Misterwives, Viceroy and Priory. Joining Khalifa the next night will be Moon Taxi and Wet.

Tickets will be available to students first through the Office of Student Affairs. According to the show flyer, general admission tickets will go on sale tomorrow (April 1) through the Walton Arts Center ticket office.

I’ll post more information as it arrives.

On the way — Whitesnake, Aug. 15 at the Walmart AMP

March 31st, 2015 at 10:39 am

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Here’s a preview of the new “The Purple Album” track “Stormbringer” by Whitesnake. The band is coming to the Walmart AMP on Aug. 15.

The paths of British bands Deep Purple and Whitesnake will forever be intertwined. David Coverdale got his break as lead vocalist for Deep Purple for a time, then started his own solo project, Whitesnake.

Those lines get even blurrier this summer with the release of Whitesnake’s “The Purple Album” and a subsequent world tour. “The Purple Tour” stops at the Walmart Arkansas Music Pavilion on Aug. 15, it was just announced.

“The Purple Album” features the lineup of Whitesnake re-imagining the songs from the Coverdale era of Deep Purple. The band is expected to play many of those songs on the forthcoming tour, as well as hits such as “Here I Go Again.”

Tickets for the local show go on sale at 10 a.m. April 10.

Soon in tunes: Joe Nichols, April 2 in Fort Smith

March 30th, 2015 at 10:17 am

Joe Nichols photo by Ford Fairchild

Joe Nichols photo by Ford Fairchild

Rogers native Joe Nichols keeps making himself relevant. His first No. 1 country single, “Brokenheartsville,” was released in 2003. His most recent, “Yeah,” came out just last year. Along the way, there are four other chart toppers and several more Top 10 hits, too. He returns to his home state for a Thursday night (April 2) show at Riverfront Amphitheater in Harry E. Kelley Park in Fort Smith. It’s a free show with support from Barrett Baber, who is slated to go on at 6:45 p.m. The concert is sponsored by Cox Communications, and tickets must be picked up at a Cox Solutions Store in the area.

The weekend in live music, with Earl and Them and more

March 27th, 2015 at 5:03 am

Lucious Spiller photo by Rick Nelson

Lucious Spiller photo by Rick Nelson

Fayetteville has been noticeably quieter this week with all of the local students being gone on Spring Break. Which means you ought to enjoy it just the same. Get out there and have a good time. You know the kids in Destin or Panama City or wherever they go are having a great time right now.

One of the things that rarely changes in this town is the Happy Hour events at George’s Majestic Lounge. The 6-8 p.m. Friday event usually features a bluesy band and the crowd is primarily made up of full-time residents.

Happy hour is where Earl & Them recorded a set for a new live recording, and Happy Hour is where they’ll return to show it off.

Almost two years have passed since the recording of this live set featuring special guests such as Jimmy Thackery on guitar and Dave Renko on saxophone. Earl and Them’s first live was recorded live at George’s Majestic Lounge on in May 2013, “Live at George’s Majestic Lounge” features the work of John Davies, Jason Davis, Terry Cagle and Earl Cate, the latter of Cate Brothers Band fame. The live album debuts at a release party that runs from 6-8 p.m. today (March 27) at George’s. Admission is $5.

Elsewhere in blues news, Lucious Spiller is in town this weekend. The Arkansas bluesman was runnerup in the solo or duo category at the 2014 International Blues Challenge in Memphis, Tenn. Spiller combines elements of blues, rock and gospel in his original work. He performs tonight at The Big Chill in Rogers and again Saturday (March 28) early evening at The Walmart Museum in Bentonville. The shows begin at 8 p.m. and 6:30 p.m., respectively. For details, visit

Other shows this weekend include a Saturday-night gig by Andy Frasco at George’s and a set by Deerpeople at The Lightbulb Club on Friday.

What’s on your live music agenda?

Highberry music fest announces 2015 lineup

March 24th, 2015 at 8:38 am

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Keller Williams covers the Grateful Dead tune “Birdsong.” This sounds like exactly the kind of song he’ll play during the upcoming Highberry Music Festival.

The Grateful Dead-loving Highberry Music Festival won’t let something like an actual Grateful Dead concert get in their way.

The sixth edition of the festival returns to Byrd’s Adventure Center near Ozark from July 2-5. That’s also the weekend of the slate of farewell shows for the legendary jam band. So the festival will happen, and a bus will take those with tickets from Ozark to Soldier Field in Chicago, the site of the “Fare Thee Well” series of shows.

Meanwhile, at Byrd’s, organizers have lined up several national acts, including headliners Railroad Earth and Keller Williams. Other notable acts include Ott, The Schwag (a Grateful Dead tribute band) and A Live One (a Phish tribute band).

Passes for the local festival are available through the festival’s website for $90. A Friday-Saturday pass is $75, and a Saturday-only ticket will cost you $50.

Here’s the lineup announcement poster:

Highberry PosterWEB